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Program Information

Doctoral Degree

The Prevention Science doctoral degree is intended for students who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a prevention science-related discipline or have significant human development, psychology, education, or prevention science experience.  This research-intensive degree program can be completed in four years, with students earning an MS en route to the PhD, and includes required coursework, a pre-dissertation research paper, comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. A minimum of 105 graduate credits is required for graduation (see Program Description below for more information).

Application, Deadlines, and Admission

Applications for Fall 2018 admission to the PhD program in Prevention Science will open mid-October, 2018. For full consideration, including consideration for scholarships and funding, apply by January 31, 2019.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through March 31. Application review will begin in January. PhD interviews will be conducted on site (if local) or remotely on February 8, 2019.

Program Description

Prevention Science is a stand-alone discipline that is guided by the Society for Prevention Research (SPR). SPR’s mission is focused on “advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and on the translation of that information to promote health and well-being.” Consistent with this mission, the program focuses on three primary areas:

  1. the production or generation of research-based knowledge that focuses on increasing the understanding of risk and protective factors and processes related to the prevention of problems in human populations;
  2. the translation of basic research findings into effective programs and policies that positively impact the development and well-being of children, youth, adults, families, and their communities; and
  3. the development of successful partnerships with community, county, state, and national organizations to disseminate effective programs into routine practice in local, regional, national, and international settings.

Coursework, which prepares and enables students to meet these objectives, includes: at least 7 credits of pre-dissertation research during the first two years; 3 credits of doctoral seminar during the third year; at least 18 credits of dissertation research during the fourth year; and 9-12 credits in one a specialty area of your choice (for example, School-based Health; Advanced Methodology; Applied Developmental Neurobiology; Community Wellness and Equity Promotion; or College Student Development)

Program Philosophy & Goals

The goals and objectives of the program reflect our program philosophy and training model, which is based in the disciplines of Education and Psychology. We aim to produce graduates who are competent in prevention science research, committed to multicultural competence, and seek to promote well-being among individuals and families at elevated risk. See Philosophy  for more information.

Graduate Opportunities

Eugene is one of the principal employers of prevention scientists nationally. Prevention Science is anchored by the Oregon Research Institute ( and the Oregon Social Learning Center (, which are long-standing independent research centers in Eugene. Other local research institutes that have historically sought and hired Ph.D.-level researchers with expertise in prevention-related disciplines include Eugene Research Institute (, ORCAS (, and EPIC (  Additionally, there is an increasing trend nationally to evaluate programs and interventions to be acceptable to State Departments of Health and Human services as evidence-based and integration of physical health and mental health care. For example, national organizations, such as the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), have been developed to enhance community partnerships with research organizations and focus on health care outcomes from a prevention framework.  All of these organizations serve as potential employment paths for graduates of this program.  See the Society for Prevention Research job opportunities website for more details (

Facilities & Research Institutes

The Prevention Science program is housed in the College of Education HEDCO building and is directly affiliated with the Prevention Science Institute ( See here for additional affiliated centers and institutes.  Students have access to a variety of services through the University of Oregon, including computer support, writing support, and disability services.